LA VERNE, CA — The University of La Verne volleyball team battled from a 2-0 hole and rallied to force a deciding fifth set against the visiting Whittier College Poets.
But Whittier surged ahead midway through the final frame and held on to defeat the Leopards 3-2.
Set Scores: 25-20, 25-17, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12
Katelyn Winiecki led La Verne with six blocks and added seven kills.
The Poets were led by Makenzie Thieme's 19 kills and Hayley Petruescu's 20 digs.
How it Happened
After poor hitting put the Leopards in an early 2-0 deficit, the Leopards battled in the third, taking a 21-13 lead after a kill by Celaya and a pair of Whittier errors.
Sanchez connected with Winiecki to set up set point, and then the senior libero finished the set off with an ace.
The fourth set went back and forth with neither team able to hold on to the momentum for long. Winiecki evened the game 17-17 with a kill off a pass from Maynes. The Poets battled back, tying the set 23-23 off a Leopard attack error.
La Verne kept fighting, catching a break after a Whitter error brought up set-point. Celaya then set the game to the fifth with her 14th kill of the match.
After the Leopards fell behind early in the fifth, Darrah Jones evened the frame 6-6 with one of her six kills. A Poet attack error right after put La Verne on top.
But that would be the last time La Verne would lead, with Whittier closing the match on a 9-5 run.
The Leopards move to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in SCIAC play. Whittier improves to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in SCIAC play.
The Leopards head to Orange tomorrow to face the Chapman Panthers. Game time is set for 4 p.m.